Beer Aficionados Rejoice As Growlers Make Their Debut

Jul 1, 2015

Finally legal to fill, 64 ounce growlers line the walls.
Credit Nick Evans

64 ounce growlers—the refillable bottles used for beer—are now legal in Florida after a three year legislative campaign.

Roger Beck is watching while a bartender at Tallahassee’s Growler Country fills his new half-gallon growler.

“I’m a growler enthusiast and have been since they opened up shop,” Beck says.

And he’s not kidding—Beck’s got three growlers loaded into a padded cooler.

“What I got filled today was a Swamphead oatmeal stout,” Beck says, before adding,  “And then I missed the Tamoca brewing feature on Sunday, so I came and got two of the Tamoca brewing company’s beers.  One is a wheat beer and one is a porter.”

At tap rooms across the state, beer lovers are filling the oversized bottles.  In recent years growlers have become popular among the craft brewing set as a way to get fresh or hard to find brews.  From the brewers perspective it’s a way to experiment with one-off styles that won’t be brewed in large enough quantities to justify commercial bottling.  For Growler Country’s owner Mike Carbonell it means a busy day.

“I believe the first one was Six Point Sweet Action—which is a cream ale—a good cream ale from them,” Carbonell says.

To mark the occasion, they’ve made commemorative bottles.

“So what we’ve got is a 64 ounce screw top with a phenolic cap, that actually has a nice seal on it, that’s comparable to the swing tops but a good price,” Carbonell says.  “We’ve got the American flag on it, and it says sixty four ounces to freedom 2015 with our logo.  It came out pretty good.  It’s a pretty snazzy growler.”

And perhaps fittingly state lawmakers freed the growler just in time for Independence Day.